With a shootout win at home followed by a shootout loss on the road, the Providence Bruins kicked off the 2021-22 season over the weekend by taking three out of four points.
The P-Bruins edged Bridgeport, 2-1, on Saturday, then lost to Hartford, 4-3, on Sunday.
After a year in which the P-Bruins played home games in Marlboro, Mass., with no fans, it was great to have people back in the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Saturday night.
On Sunday, new coach Ryan Mougenal was pleased with the way his team came from behind in the third period to earn a point.
“I think we learned a lot today. It showed a lot of who we were. We’re exciting to watch, that’s for sure. We made some high-end plays with a little bit of risk mixed in there, but I’ll tell you this: it’s a great bunch to be around, they’re a lot of fun. I like our team a lot. If we play like that this year, we’ll be in real good shape,’’ he said.
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
— It was a strong weekend for Kyle Keyser. He came off the bench after Troy Grosenick left Saturday night’s game with a lower-body injury and stopped all 19 shots he faced, then denied both Bridgeport shootout attempts. He made a spectacular glove save on Austin Czarnik of the Islanders in the third period. On Sunday, he made some huge stops in the third period as the P-Bruins came from behind to force overtime and earn a point. He also stopped five straight attempts in the shootout before the Wolf Pack finally put a puck behind him.
— The line of Jakub Lauko, Jack Studnicka and Chris Wagner was effective in both games. Wagner recorded four shots in each game and banged in the tying goal on a third-period power play on Sunday. Studnicka scored in the shootout on Saturday, then added a goal and an assist on Sunday. Lauko recorded two assists on Sunday and came to the defense of Studnicka after an elbow by Hartford’s Anthony Bitetto.
— A pair of Atlantic Division title banners were unfurled at The Dunk on Saturday.
— In addition to Studnicka and Wagner, Tyler Lewington on Saturday and Sammy Asselin on Sunday recorded their first goals of the season.
— Jesper Froden buried the winner in the shootout on Saturday.
— Providence gave up a shorthanded goal to Johnny Brodzinski of Hartford in the second period on Sunday.
— The P-Bruins allowed 16 shots in the first period against Bridgeport.
— Injured: Josiah Didier, Troy Grosenick, J.D. Greenway, Victor Berglund